Panamarenko Belgium / 1940 - 2019
Pastille Motor nr 5 (1987)


"Panamarenko. Motors Pastilles" Gal. Ronny Van de Velde, Antwerp 1989
"Panamarenko. Expérimentations" Centre de Création Contemporaine, Tours 1989
"Panamarenko" Gal. Willy D'Huysser, Knokke 1990
"L'Art en Belgique. Flandre et Wallonie au XXe siècle. Un point de vue" Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris 1991, nr. 212
"Panamarenko, de retrospectieve" KMSK, Brussels 2006, exhibition cat., nr. 50 reprod.
"Panamarenko Universum" M HKA, Antwerp 2014-15, exhibition cat., p. 104-105 reprod.
"Artstudio" nr. 18, 1990, p. 131
"Panamarenko. A Book by Hans Theys" Published by Frank Van Haecke & Isy Brachot 1992, nr. 157 reprod.
With photo certificate by the artist

“You want to make a submarine? Make yourself a submarine, but don’t turn it into a little artsy submarine. In the end, it may well be that it won’t function at all, but that isn’t the point. The thing is that you respect the nature of such a machine. It isn’t a sculpture-submarine, it isn’t an oil-on-canvas-submarine. Because you made it, you who are crazy about submarines, that submarine carries in it The Submarine, just like those other things carry in them The Plane."

Panamarenko will be engraved forever in our collective memory as the eccentric artist-inventor-explorer who wants to rise up in the air. His universe is made of hard science, a large dose of imagination and infectious enthusiasm. He develops devices with all sorts of flying options. The suggestion of possibility is of vital importance, but the question of whether the devices actually work or not is irrelevant. Panamarenko’s ‘inventions’ are adventures: the process of exploration and experimentation is more important than the final result.
During this process, Panamarenko makes studies, sketches, models, prototypes, etc. that are often physically part of a bigger project. Because of that particular connection, he creates a narrative with his own terminology and iconography. This way he organizes his oeuvre, and simultaneously consolidates the credibility of his slightly dubious creations to the skeptical, practical viewer.

Two important parts of two of Panamarenko’s iconic projects are included in this auction. "Magnetic fields" (1979, lot 450) is part of the overall project ‘Journey to the stars’. "Pastille Motor nr 5" (1987, lot 509) came about in his research for the driving mechanism of the ‘backpack planes’ he developed on the Furka Pass at the end of the 1980s. These objects are crafted with primitive materials, but nevertheless their implementation is based on scientific research. They carry with them the hope of achieving the impossible, which makes them extraordinarily poetic.


Panamarenko does not want to build a rocket to travel into space, but he wants a machine on human scale. To realize this project, he invents a new range of extremely light and almost soundless motors: the pastille motor, so-called because it is as flat as a pastille. The pastille motor is the driving mechanism of a number of ‘backpack planes’ Panamarenko developed on the Furka Pass at the end of the 1980s.

The mechanism generates a perpendicular propulsion, so the focus of the experiment is on rotational speed and traction. To increase the performance of his devices, the artist alternately experiments with fans, paddle wheels, rotor blades and propellers. In case of the "Pastille Motor nr 5", the motor remains in place, stabilized by the sturdy table. The metal cage protects its environment during the experiment, when the motor is tested for its traction. This type of drive mechanism continues to evolve over the years. The experiments with air displacement resulted in 1991 in a first hovering car.

 was added to your favorites.

result results

This website uses cookies. By your continued use of this site, you confirm to agree to our cookie policy. Do you agree?  Yes / No   (More information)